At least six people were killed as Tropical Storm Isaias spawned tornadoes and dumped rain along the East Coast of the United States on Tuesday after making landfall as a hurricane in North Carolina, where it caused floods and fires that displaced dozens of people.
Two people died when Isaias spun off a tornado that struck a North Carolina mobile home park. Another person died in Pennsylvania when their vehicle was overtaken by water and swept downstream. Two others were killed by falling trees toppled by the storm in Maryland and New York City, and a sixth person died in Delaware when a tree branch fell on them, authorities said.
Isaias sustained top winds of up to 65 miles per hour (105km/h) more than 18 hours after heading ashore, but it was down to 45mph maximum winds as of Wednesday morning (UK time), according to the National Hurricane Centre.
The storm's centre was about 45 miles southeast of Montreal, moving northeast into Canada at about 38mph.
As Isaias sped northward, the hurricane centre warned of flash flood threats in New York's Hudson River Valley and the potential for severe river flooding elsewhere in the mid-Atlantic region.
In Philadelphia, the Schuylkill River was projected to crest early on Wednesday at 15.4 feet (4.7 meters), its highest level in more than 150 years. By Tuesday night, the river had already overtopped its banks in low-lying Manayunk, turning bar-lined Main Street into a coffee-coloured canal.
Isaias, which was briefly a Category 1 hurricane when it made landfall in North Carolina late on Monday, reduced the mobile home park in the north of the state to rubble hours later, leaving two people dead.
"It doesn't look real. It looks like something on TV. There's nothing there," Bertie County Sheriff John Holley said.
"Pretty much the entire trailer park is gone."
In New York City, a massive tree fell and crushed a van in the Briarwood section of Queens, killing Mario Siles, a 60-year-old construction contractor who was inside the vehicle, police said.
A woman in Mechanicsville, Maryland, died when a tree crashed onto her car during stormy conditions, said Cpl Julie Yingling of the St Mary's County sheriff's office.
Isaias toggled between hurricane and tropical storm strength as it churned towards the East Coast.
NASA Providing Data on Tropical Storm #Isaias as it Blankets Eastern Seaboard
Tropical Storm Isaias made landfall late on Aug. 3 and by today, Aug. 4, the huge storm stretched from Virginia to Maine.https://t.co/iPDf66g9tF pic.twitter.com/JAT19t4vf2
— NASAHurricane (@NASAHurricane) August 4, 2020
Fuelled by warm ocean waters, the storm got a late burst of strength as a rejuvenated hurricane, with top sustained winds of 85mph before coming ashore near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.
Its tropical storm status was sustained, but weakened, as it headed north towards Canada on Tuesday night.
Many homes flooded in Ocean Isle Beach, and at least five caught fire, Mayor Debbie Smith told WECT-TV.
Before making landfall on Monday, Isaias killed two people in the Caribbean and battered the Bahamas before brushing past Florida.
Tornadoes were confirmed by the National Weather Service in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.
Power outages also spread as trees fell, with more than 3.7 million customers losing electricity across multiple states.
New Jersey had the most outages of any state, with more than 1.3 million.
New York City's power utility said it saw more outages from Isaias than from any storm except Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
In Doylestown, Pennsylvania, officials said four children were treated for minor injuries after high winds partially tore the roof off a day-care centre.
Also in the Philadelphia suburbs, rescue workers in Delaware County were searching for a young person who fell or jumped into the fast-moving water of a swollen creek, said Timothy Boyce, the county emergency services director.
In New York City, fierce wind and rain forced the Staten Island ferry and outdoor subway lines to shut down. The New Jersey Turnpike banned car-pulled trailers and motorcycles.
Some of the worst damage on Tuesday seemed to be east and north of where the hurricane's eye struck land in North Carolina.